Writing Program Courses

Writing Program Courses

The Writing Program specializes in courses geared towards the needs of writers who are experts in scholarly, research, and professional fields. We also introduce first year students to the study and practice of expert writing, and we offer graduate students and advanced undergraduates courses in special writing topics such as argument, style, legal writing, and non-fiction narrative. Looking for courses in fiction and poetry? Visit the Creative Writing program. Looking for courses in academic and professional writing or the rhetoric of persuasion? That's us.

Academic and Professional Writing (The Little Red Schoolhouse)

Do you want to write clear, effective academic or professional prose? If so, the Writing Program has a course for you. Academic and Professional Writing (aka "The Little Red Schoolhouse," English 13000/33000) offers principles of clear writing that will allow you to anticipate and to change how readers respond to your work -- whether those readers are professors, professionals, or the general public.

Because different writers have different needs, we offer several versions of this course. For more information, please click on one of the following links. (Please note: if you are taking a course to train for a writing program or humanities division job, you need to take one of our pedagogy courses instead.)

All versions of the course meet twice a week: once in a plenary lecture session, and once in small writing seminars during which students exchange and critique papers. To ensure that students receive individualized attention to their writing, enrollment is strictly limited so that there are no more than seven students per writing seminar. No exceptions!

For information on how to register for English 13000/33000 this quarter, please go to the LRS registration information page. Please note: there are no books to buy for this course, but there is a thirty-five dollar materials fee for the lecture handouts that constitute our weekly in-class readings.

Special writing topics courses for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students

For upper-level undergraduates and graduate students interested in advanced writing topics, the Writing Program offers a cluster of advanced writing courses.   Topics include:  an advanced course in argumentation, an advanced course in persuasion and the environment, and an advanced course in writing speeches.  To ensure that students receive individualized attention to their writing, enrollment in each course is strictly limited to twelve students. No exceptions!

View course descriptions for our special topics courses for this year.

For first-year undergraduates: required writing sequence

Humanities 19100: Humanities Core Writing Seminars. These seminars are available in combination with either a two-quarter or a three-quarter general education sequence in the Humanities. They introduce students to the analysis and practice of expert academic writing. The seminars do not repeat or extend the substantive discussion of the Humanities class; they use the discussions and assignments from those classes as a tool for the advanced study of writing. We study various methods for the construction of sophisticated and well-structured arguments, but also for understanding the complications and limits of those arguments. We also address issues of readership and communication within expert communities. As students present papers in the seminars, we use the reactions of the audience to introduce techniques that expert writers can use to transform a text from one that serves the writer to one that serves readers. All University of Chicago undergraduate students must complete two quarters of this course for graduation; students do not register for the course directly, but are registered automatically when they register for a Humanities Core course. (Available every year, Autumn, Winter, Spring).

Pedagogy courses for graduate student instructors

The Writing Program offers courses in writing pedagogy for graduate students who have been hired to teach for the Writing Program or who are training to teach within their own department or program. Contact your divisional administrator to see if you are eligible for payment or teaching credit for taking these courses.

Humanities 50000: Pedagogies of Writing 

Pedagogies of Writing prepares graduate students with the writing principles and pedagogy necessary to work as Writing Interns and/or Writing Tutors in the Humanities College Core. Students who have received a CA-ship in Humanities Division courses are also eligible to take this course, if seats are available. (Offered in Spring and Summer quarters).

English 50300: Principles of Teaching Writing

Principles of Teaching Writing is a course for graduate students to prepare them with the writing principles and pedagogical skills necessary to work as Lectors in our flagship course ENGL 33000: Academic and Professional Writing (aka The Little Red Schoolhouse). (Offered in Autumn quarters).

English 32705: Composing Composition

Composing Composition is a course for graduate students who plan to work as teachers or who are entering the academic job market. This course provides a scholarly context and practical exercises that will prepare graduate students for the challenges of writing-related jobs in institutional contexts ranging from large research universities to small liberal arts schools. The course will prepare you to discuss the teaching of writing in applications to and interviews for academic jobs and fellowships. Prerequisite: ENGL 33000, HUMA 50000, or ENGL 50300.